The eighth reading from the book of Genesis is named Vayishlach (וישלח), which means “and he sent.” The title comes from the first verse of the reading, which says, “Then Jacob sent messengers before him to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the country of Edom” (Genesis 32:3 [verse 4 in Jewish-published Bibles]). Jacob prepares to meet Esau as he returns to the Promised Land, but first he has a mysterious encounter with an angel in the darkness, who changes his name to Israel. The portion follows Jacob’s adventures in the land of Canaan, including the loss of his beloved wife, Rachel.
So each weekly Torah portion is looked at as a “window of opportunity” from a Kabbalistic map viewpoint. An opportunity to connect to the energy accessible during this time of the year. The “story” is important but a deeper dive reveals insights and awarenesses that heretofore may be hidden.
I have a brother. We are not twins like Esau and Jacob but we are only 15 months apart in age. I happen to visiting with him this week. Is he Esau or Jacob? What role am I playing? Esau and Jacob seemed to have direct opposing perspectives when it came to their approach to the questions of Creation. The story talks about Jacob tricking Esau out of his ‘first born’ birthright. He really didn’t trick him….he traded it for a bowl of lentil soup. Nevertheless, Esau was not happy. Jacob spent 14 years working for his uncle Laben and married Leah and Rachel and had many children. Jacob’s children would become the leaders of the tribes of the Israelites.
I previewed several videos and you can find them on YouTube by searching, however, our favorite Rabbi provides a very interesting and appropriate for the times we are in synopsis, I think.